Its all their in the name

By | May 10, 2007

This made me laugh to myself – you know, the type of laugh that you do sat at a computer in a room full of people and hope they don't ask you what your laughing at.

I was reading a post titled "storage virtualisation: naming gone awry" over at The Storage Anarchist, Barry Burkes new blog (anybody else noticed that tons of new storage blogs are popping up these days??).  Its an interesting post and well worth reading. 

Just to sum it for the purpose of explaining why I was laughing – Barry waxes lyrical a little over what he considers a bit of a naming faux pas made by the storage industry.  He speaks intelligently about why "storage virtualisation" as we're calling it these days, (SVC, USP…) is not really virtualisation, but rather just another form of volume management.

He goes on to suggest, may be just gest, that the industry should admit its mistake, apologise to the market and rename the various technologies as "Volume Managers".  Anyway, that brings me to the reason why I was laughing (actually it doesn't seem that funny any more), Barry seemed to miss the fact that the marketing name for the Hitachi virtualisation/volume management, call it what you want, is actually ………………….. wait for it…………..

"Universal Volume Manager"

No, seriously!!

So – Anybody else laughing?

In fact, I've also just thought, the IBM technology is actually "SAN Volume Controller" also remarkably close to the mark that Barry is setting!

So now I have to wonder how it got tagged as virtualisation?  But it certainly won't be keeping me awake tonight.

No malice intended Barry, just thought Id share a (not so) humorous moment.


6 thoughts on “Its all their in the name

  1. Barry Burke

    No malice taken – in fact, that’s actually my point. VVM, SVC, VVM – the middle "V" is indeed "volume" in all three cases. It’s not that the vendors’ products are named wrong, but that we as an industry have misappropriated the term virtualization!
    And, I’ll note that the EMC Celerra implementation of "thin provisioning" is called – (wait for it): Virtual Provisioning!
    (And I never thought I’d actually say this, but the naming committees seem to have gotten it right, at least for this small sample ;^)

  2. Barry Burke

    Sorry – I forgot my manners.
    Thanks for noticing & linking my blog! My hope is I add a little value and insight to the storage discussion that you and others have established so well. Let’s have some fun!

  3. Anthony

    indeed a good laugh…The storage kings although they do have some good points sometimes the information is … well lacking just like ZFS pitfalls…

  4. Marc Farley

    Volume management and virtualization are two sides of the same coin.  In my last book for Cisco Press, I had a Chapter with the ridiculously long name of: "Storage Virtualization: The Power in Volume Management Software and SAN Virtualization Systems"  
    Its pretty arbitrary. For awhile I thought people were making a distinction between host-based or host-integrated functionality and functionality that could be done independent of any host systems. Then I thought there might be an analysis based on SCSI termination points.  Now I just think its a free for all.  This is a perfect example of how screwed up the language of storage is.  In this case, we have two terms meaning the same thing.  Contrast that with the word "archive" having 5 or 6 meanings.  
    So now Dave Hitz and Netapp is suggesting that we expand the term SAN to mean any kind of connection to storage.  I agree that we might need a word for that, but using an existing word with fairly heavy block I/O connotations just seems like a further erosion of sanity (a word that should not have any meanings for the storage world).  
    I think we are destined for early hair loss due to physical forces and spontaneous primal screaming for many years to come. As the band once said: "We are Devo"

  5. stephen2615

    I don’t see HDS saying they want to get into the LAN market and they sell NAS blades for the USP and perhaps other systems and heaven knows, the AMS also has iSCSI.  I think the virtualisation word should belong to the current range of portable MP4 players.  Almost every one of them will play who knows what.  So, it makes no real difference in what you chuck into them.  My MP4 player plays DVD (VOD), DivX, avi, MP3, WMA,.. the list goes on.  Mind you with the stuff I put on its little 2.5 inch hard drive, I might need to virtualise a USP behind it to cope with the movies, music, pics that I have on it.
    So, from my humble viewpoint a $300 piece of hardware with some smallish firmware can play "VIRTUALLY" anything.  So, isn’t that what the current virutalisation discussion is about?  Using other people platforms to present data to the end system.
    To be honest, the storage virtualisation name usage is all wrong.  Look at VMWare.  It virtualises many OS’s on one host.  So, we get value for the hardware.  Power costs are reduced as I am no longer paying for multiple systems and the appropriate cooling costs and maintenance costs.
    Virtualising my less powerful systems behind the USP actually costs me money as there is a licence cost associated with it.
    I say everything needs to run on my MP4 player….

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